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Around the G: “A” Preview
Erin Riley

Single “A” teams are back at it starting on September 18. If the 2017-18 season was anything like last year, get ready to expect some upsets and surprises throughout the 36 game regular season.

Atom A
With all signs pointing to a city final between the Kraft Cup winning Vaughan Rangers (29-7-0) and Forest Hill (29-2-5), it would be the second place Willowdale Blackhawks (26-4-6) causing an upset. Despite fighting their way into the city final, the offensive prowess of the Rangers would prove to be too difficult for the Blackhawks to handle. In their second season of competitive GTHL hockey, the Blackhawks, Rangers and Forest Hill could all once again see a three-way battle for division dominance.

Minor Peewee A
Both the North Toronto (31-2-3) and the Vaughan Rangers (35-0-1) squads had no problems sweeping up both a Kraft Cup and conference championship. The two teams would meet in the city final where, despite the Rangers near-perfect record, North Toronto would prevail in six games. Will the two teams see a re-match in 2017-18?

Peewee A
After winning a Kraft Cup, both the Leaside Flames (28-5-3) and Avalanche (23-4-9) would take their winning ways all the way to the city finals. Despite their similar regular season records, it would be the Flames who would dominate their way to a 6-0 series victory. Expect the Avalanche to be hungry for redemption this coming season.

Minor Bantam A
As the rounds wore on during the Scotiabank GTHL Playoffs, it was looking as though the Peewee city final would come down to the Kraft Cup winning Toronto Wolverines (30-4-2) and Markham Islanders (29-4-3). The third place West Hill Golden Hawks (27-6-3) had other plans. While the Wolverines defeated their opponents with ease, the Islanders were stopped in their tracks during their first round by a fourth place North Toronto (21-10-5) squad (who would later fall to the Golden Hawks). In an unexpected city final, the West Hill Golden Hawks would sweep North Toronto to take it all. If last season was any indication, this division will be anyone’s to take.

Bantam A
Regular season standings were tight in both the East and West, but nothing as close as the Don Mills Mustangs (32-2-2) and Leaside Flames (32-2-2). With identical records, the Kraft Cup champion came down to a one game tiebreaker, which saw the Mustangs prevail. The Flames fell short of redemption in the Eastern final, losing the series in six games. The Mustangs would go on to capture cities against a strong Vaughan Rangers (28-6-2) squad. Keep an eye out for some heated competition between the Mustangs and Flames throughout 2017-18.

Minor Midget A
The Avalanche (30-3-3) were a team that had an answer at every step of the way. While the East saw some surprises, such as the third place Leaside Flames (27-6-3) defeating second place North Toronto (31-3-2) in the semi-finals, the West was the Avalanches for the taking. Meeting Kraft Cup champions York Mills in the city final, the Avalanche had no problems continuing their dominance, sweeping York Mills in three games. Can the Avalanche continue their streak throughout their Minor Midget season?

Midget Jr. A
In the West, the battle of Vaughan came down to a Rangers (26-6-4) and Panthers (26-5-5) semi-final, with the Panthers punching a ticket to the city final after four games. The Panthers would end their season in defeat after falling to the first place Leaside Flames (30-1-5) in the final. Will they make a comeback this season?

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